Unable to watch the game, I could only follow along on the ESPN Bottom Line during poker night. With the Sox up 1-0 when I left, it was indeed frustrating to see them lose 2-1 — particularly to Gustavo Chacin. Again.

  • Chacin vs. BOS: 6-0, 3.83 ERA.
  • Chacin vs. ALL: 25-14, 4.02 ERA
  • Chacin vs. ALL except BOS: 19-14, 4.05 ERA

The aggravating thing is that Chacin’s peripherals aren’t particularly good against Boston. He’s walked more than he’s struck out; his WHIP is an unspectacular 1.48. At Fenway, his ERA approaches 5.50. Yet he has two wins there and six wins overall against the Sox in eight starts.

On the other hand, Daisuke Matsuzaka can’t seem to catch a break. If he continues to pitch the way he’s been pitching, though, he’ll win 20 games without much of a problem. He has more strikeouts (24) than baserunners allowed (22), and he’s second in the league in both strikeouts and K/9. He’s also in the top 10 in K/BB ratio. Granted, his 162-game average has him going 11-22, but I’ll take the 272 Ks and 56 walks.

Also, the Herald runs a completely useless story about Matsuzaka allegedly having trouble pitching out of the stretch. While that might have been true last night (though one inch on three different plays in the fourth is the difference between even having this discussion or not), the Herald doesn’t bother to check exactly how Matsuzaka’s done when pitching from the stretch.

Even when accounting for last night, when he walked three and allowed a hit with men on, Matsuzaka allows a .217/.345/.304 line with runners on base. Compare that to when the bases are empty: .240/.255/.340. In other words, he actually allows fewer hits, and those he does allow go for fewer bases, when he’s (presumably) pitching out of the stretch, though he does walk more (five walks to zero — though, again, three of those came last night). It just seems like the Herald is jumping the gun on finding ways in which Matsuzaka might be vulnerable. At the very least, they could have found the data online in five minutes and tried to analyze it.

15 comments… add one
  • If this keeps up he’ll have Cy Young statistics and zero chance of winning the Cy Young, due to the “I vote for the person with the most wins” mindset. But the Sox will have gotten their money’s worth, without a doubt, win total aside.

    SF April 18, 2007, 11:53 am
  • DMat looks great thus far.. I just wish he was on any team other than the Sox so I can root for him!

    Lar April 18, 2007, 12:16 pm
  • The Run Support Fairy is a cruel, cruel mistress. I remember lamenting wasting good outings from Tim Wakefield last year because the offense couldn’t get going. It’s starting to look like Matsuzaka has assumed the mantle of “tough luck pitcher” on the squad.

    mouse - SF April 18, 2007, 12:36 pm
  • Is it crazy for me to think that until he warms up, Tito should put Drew behing Ortiz with Manny behind Drew?
    I’m probably crazy.
    I also think putting WMP in the two hole would allow him to see a few really straight pitches as well.
    Okay, now I know I’m crazy.

    Brad April 18, 2007, 12:42 pm
  • What’s that d1 said about looking forward to Boston destroying pitchers who walk more than they strike out? ;)
    Seriously though, Boston should definitely do well over the next one and a half weeks. They’re playing injury-riddled Toronto and Yankee teams, with a short break of 2 games against Baltimore, while their entire team is a picture of health. On paper, it’s a lock, and as as YF, I won’t be too distressed if they end the month 4 games over .500.

    Andrew April 18, 2007, 12:46 pm
  • Have you guys bought a vineyard, or something?
    Because you’re selling alot of whine.
    Last year it was the injuries. What? This year’s whining is the run support?
    Big surprise there when your starting lineup includes: Lowell, Crisp, Pedroia (or Cora), and Varitek.

    jim - YF April 18, 2007, 12:48 pm
  • All I read when I see Jim’s posts is “Meow meow meow meow”. No offense to cats.
    Brad, every year (recently) people worry about Manny’s slow start, but every year Manny hits 30+ dingers. No panicking. He made us wait at least this long last year for his first homer, and he hit several balls hard yesterday.
    Sucks for ‘zaka, but he’ll be fine. He’s had three very good outings.

    Devine April 18, 2007, 12:58 pm
  • “What’s that d1 said about looking forward to Boston destroying pitchers who walk more than they strike out? ;)”
    Haha that rule doesn’t apply to sub-par lefties with a history of doing just enough to eke out a win. Was a throwaway line on my part anyway…
    Devine, Meow Mix has the best-ever ad campaign for cat food. Beats the hell out of those snooty ‘Fancy Feast’ ads.
    …I watch too much TV.

    desturbd1 April 18, 2007, 1:35 pm
  • On an unrelated note, the sun is shining in Maine for the first time in over a week and 60+ degree temps are finally on the way. I think we can say that, to a reasonable extent, spring is finally here.
    Only 4 hours until tonight’s game!

    Scott SF April 18, 2007, 2:59 pm
  • Jim, as clueless as ever. Every time he goes away for a few days my na├»ve hope is that he’ll return with some shred of insight. Alas, my naivete is continually exposed.
    The fact is that when a pitcher throws a nice game and gets no run support it is, as Paul says, frustrating. Admitting one’s frustration is not whining. If Daisuke continues to fan 1.3 per inning, gives up .5 hits per inning, and 2-3 runs per start but continues to take losses, there will be totally justified frustration. I can’t imagine fans of any team feeling any differently about their own hard luck starters.

    SF April 18, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • Irony: Jim whining about what he perceives to be Soxfan whining.
    If you don’t know the difference between injuries — which are not caused by the quality of play but affect the wuality of play — and run support — which IS the quality of play — then you clearly are functioning at a level of baseball knowledge far below even the most basic fan.

    Paul SF April 18, 2007, 3:16 pm
  • Matsuzaka’s been every bit what Johan Santana has been so far, 1-2 record be damned.
    To say I’m pleased is an understatement. If he doesn’t get hurt, good things will happen.

    Steve April 18, 2007, 3:51 pm
  • I had the same harebrained theory about the stretch last night. Of course, I was willing to wait to see it happen two more times before I would start believing it.
    As they say, once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern.
    I guess everybody is a little confused as to how someone can walk in a run AND get ten strikeouts. Can anyone dig up a statistic on how many times that’s happened?

    Kazz April 18, 2007, 5:52 pm
  • What I didn’t get was, once the bases were loaded, why not just start pitching from the windup again? Is it really necessary there to remain in the stretch when you’re not effective?
    The Jays don’t really have any speedsters, I can’t imagine any of their guys trying to steal home, especially when the pitcher couldn’t find the strike zone the last two batters.

    Steve April 18, 2007, 5:59 pm
  • DiceK has struck out 24 in 20 innings, walked only 5, pitched to a 2.70 ERA… and has only one win to show for it.
    That’s fairly known as “unlucky.”
    He could just as easily be 2-1 or even 3-0, had he gotten decent run support in either loss.
    How can I say that? By looking at the stats for some of the other pitchers in the game who are 3-0 right now, such as Sabathia:
    21 innings, 19 Ks, 6 walks, 2.14 ERA
    Yeah, his ERA is, but looking at the rest of their numbers (they’ve given up almost exactly the same number of hits as well), you can see that a few situations and differences in run support are skewing the small sample against DiceK.
    Yet he gives up 2 runs in one weak inning, and the press has to start questioning the guy’s mechanics…
    DiceK’s performance so far has been entirely up to expectations; it’s his teammates who have let him down.
    If he keeps his ERA and K/BB ratio at this level all year, the numbers will even out and he should win at least 15 without any trouble.

    Hudson April 18, 2007, 6:14 pm

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